Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 688: 1,250 bombers and 522 fighters are dispatched to hit oil and industrial targets in W Germany; 2 bombers and 1 fighter are lost; the first three forces use H2X while the 4th and 5th use GH:
1. 455 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Harburg (221) and Rhenania oil refineries (214) at Hamburg; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 94 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 129 of 139 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair.
2. 225 B-24s are dispatched to hit Neumunster Airfield (216); targets of opportunity are Munster (3) and Utersum (1); no losses. Escort is provided by 41 of 42 P-51s without loss.
3. 297 B-17s dispatched to hit the primary hit secondaries, Harburg (179) and Rhenania oil refineries (106) at Hamburg; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 16 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 9 MIA. Escort is provided by 221 of 255 P-51s without loss.
4. 131 B-17s are dispatched to hit synthetic oil targets at Gelsenkirchen/Nordstern (27); 100 others hit the secondary, the marshaling yard at Hamm; 49 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 50 of 50 P-47s without loss.
5. 142 B-24s are dispatched to hit synthetic oil targets at Scholven/Buer (91); 34 hit the secondary at Munster and 1 hits Gronua; 39 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 34 of 36 P-47s without loss.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Aircraft took off to bomb the primary target, the Nordstern Synthetic Oil Plant at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The PFF secondary target was the Hamm marshalling yard. The high squadron lead B-17 returned early with engine problems: #44-8125 Sparky, 360BS (Capt. Wilson).
Although both primary and secondary targets had 10/10 low clouds with tops at 8,000 feet, the secondary target had a few breaks. There were no middle or high clouds. GEE-H equipment was out in all three lead ships due to lack of rate and/or course signals. PFF "Mickey" radar was used which was reported as working well.
Thirty-seven Fortresses dropped 662 250-lb. H.E. M57 bombs. One Fortress dropped 10 bundles of T185 leaflets. Bombing altitudes were 28,600, 28,100 and 27,100 feet. Most of the bomb hits could not be observed, but a few hits could be seen through cloud breaks. Some were seen hitting in fields short of the target, but a few fires were observed. The PFF in the low Squadron aborted, so this formation bombed on the lead ship.
No enemy aircraft were encountered and 221 P-51s provided good support. Chaff was beneficial and only moderate, inaccurate flak confronted the Group. A few accurate bursts resulted in minor damage to four B-17s. There were no casualties and all aircraft returned safely to Base.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #82 Hamburg. Command Pilot: CREER. 36 planes dispatched. 33 planes dropped 81 tons on the primary target and 3 failed to bomb. 34 Credit Sorties. Target was the oil works. Pathfinder bombing. Results unobserved. (Cleveland Romero #6. Second time Chaff planes were used, very good results, flak concentrated below the bomber stream.) See 34th Bombardment Group (H) 1941-1945, p.44 for the story 'Oct. 25, 1944 Mission' told by Milton Braveman, which tells of two crews piloted by Bowen and Jim Sheridan that carried chaff on this mission. Bowen's plane was damaged, losing two engines and was escorted back to England by Sheridan, who received a DFC for this mission. The next day, Milton Braveman and another Navigator, Sid Doppelt, are assigned to the 482BG for a month of Mickey training.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 36 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
52 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 46. Aborted - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 4 42-97510 Fleshman, Warren G - Aborted due to internal failure of #1 engine 42-97592 Parker, George F 42-107148 Rose, Gerald D - Aborted due to loss of oil pressure in #2 engine. 43-38016 Gabel, Raymond J - Gee-H equipment failed during assembly.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 3rd Air Division was sent to attack two targets at Hamburg while the 1st and 2nd Divisions were sent to four targets in the Gelsenkirchen Area in the North Ruhr. The 388th made up the 45th C Combat Wing.
36 a/c including 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 0830 and 0859 hours. There were no aborts. Formations were effected and the briefed route to the target was followed. 10 /10 cloud coverage prevailed over the entire route and bombing was done using PFF methods. Our target was a synthetic oil refinery just to the south of Hamburg. Bombs were away at 1316 hours from 26,000 feet.
No enemy fighters were seen. Flak at the target was moderate inaccurate barrage. An unusually large number of rockets were seen in the target area.
All a/c returned safely to base by 1634 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The dock area and oil storage facilities at Hamburg were bombed by PFF due to 10/10ths undercast over the target. Crews reported observing black smoke bulging through the clouds at 10,000 feet as they were leaving the target area. The flak at the target was moderate to intense but ineffective. No enemy fighters were encountered and all aircraft returned safely to base. Crews from the 613th flying were: Etters, Douglas, McGoldrick, Carson, Jetter, Budd, Hopley, Annis, Hillested.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The attack on this mission was aimed at a motor transport works and the oil industry. Capt. Ted Carrell led the 10 aircraft from the 614th Squadron in the Low Squadron of the Wing formation and bombed by PFF through the usual 10/10th's undercast. The Group furnished 39 aircraft under the command of Captain F.A. Kalinski to form the 94th "A" Group. The crews reported seeing heavy clouds of black smoke coming up through the clouds at 10,000 feet as they were leaving the target. Some Squadrons encountered heavy flak but the 614th report stated that it was meager and inaccurate. Only 2 bombers and 1 fighter was lost out of about 1,800 aircraft dispatched that day. The 614th crews were: 42-39012 Rundell, 44-8033 Carroll (PFF), 43-38738 Babcock, 42-38236 Hayes, 44-6464 Wittman, 43-38330 Seder, 42-102659 Sisson, 42-97395 St. Aubyn, 42-107151 Morton, 42-97478 Ochsenhirt.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 401st Group furnished three 12 aircraft Squadrons comprising the 94th "A" Group, led by Captain F.A. Kalinski, flying with 1st Lt. Charleville, both of the 615th Squadron. Briefing was at 0600 hrs with all aircraft becoming airborne by 1006 hrs. The weather ship was IW-K, Serial No. 43-38677 and used the code Golfclub K. The target was a group of factories producing various ordnance and vehicles and the PFF method of bombing again proved its value as'10/10th's undercast covered the target. Each Squadron made an individual Mickey run and although the operators expressed the opinion that they had made a good run the plotting by the S-2 personnel showed that their bombs all fell a little wide of the assigned target. The Luftwaffe still failed to put in an appearance and even the flak was not very effective with only two aircraft MIA out the the 1,250 sent out to attack German targets. Nevertheless, the flak over the target caused major damage to one 401st aircraft and minor damage to 6 other aircraft. In the target area 6 to 8 vapor trails, as if traveling at rocket speed, were reported. The nine 615th crews on the loading list were: 44-8258 Charleville (with Capt. F.A. Kalinski), 42-31983 Callaway, 44-6146 Cooper, 42-102674 McKay, 43-38159 Oas, 43-38468 Dow, 43-38125 Hansen, 42-107113 Sullivan, 43-38077 Lozinski.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Jumping around Germany to attack the various ordnance and vehicle producing factories found the Group with an assignment to Hamburg, Germany on October 25th. The 401st furnished three 12 aircraft Squadrons comprising the 94th "A" Group, one PFF aircraft being included in each Squadron. Again the PFF method of bombing proved its value as 10/10's undercast of clouds continued to hamper our bombing efforts all the month. Each Squadron made an individual Mickey run and although the operators expressed opinions that they believed results to be good the plotting by S-2 personnel shows their bombs fell wide of the assigned target. The mission saw the Group through another safely with enemy air opposition nil, although some was expected. Flak was encountered at two places besides the target. None of this was effective on the Group and likewise the intense Flak at the target did not cause much trouble as it was off in deflection although good for altitude. Six of the aircraft sustained damage but all personnel and aircraft returned safely. Leading the High Squadron on this effort was Lt. Ben Carns with Lt. Weigler as Bombardier, Lt. Howard as Mickey Operator and Lt. Ligon as Lead Navigator. Seven other 612th crews participated and completed the mission with Lt. Hocking leading the Low Section of the High Squadron. Crews: 43-38541 Comer, 43-38637 Hocking, 42-102393 Jones, 43-38733 Long, 43-37790 Bonney, 42-102398 Maxwell, 43-37628 Aiken, 42-31891 Christensen, 42-97947 Carns.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - A synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen, Germany was the Primary target for today. The 44th made up the Combat Wing, second Wing in the Division. The Group dispatched 29 A/C 5 G-H ships, and 3 PFFs, with bombing done on G-H through 10/1Oth undercast, with unobserved results. There were no enemy fighters, but flak in the target area was intense and accurate. Just prior to bombing, the lead navigator was hit by flak, but bombed on G-H regardless. However, with #1 engine out and #2 "acting up", they experienced difficulty in turning over the lead to the deputy, and the lead aircraft became separated from the remainder of the formation over the Ruhr Valley. The other aircraft returned by the briefed course. Fighter support was contacted on the route in and were sighted once prior to reaching the target, but no contact was made after leaving the target. All aircraft returned, some having sustained various, slight degrees of battle damage.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
source: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Hamburg. The oil plant in the dock area was the target for this mission which was flown over solid undercast and bombing accomplished with pathfinder equipment, results unobserved. Lt. Hammer led the low squadron furnished by the 322nd. The group leader was Major Klette.